No, it's not photography, but resembles it (pre-digital, using silver salts) by capturing a faint image first, albeit by actual physical contact instead of light, then developing the image using a chemical that makes it more visible. Think of it if you like as 'chemography', rather than photography. Being a contact imprint, rather than a processed photograph, explains why the Shroud image is a negative rather than a positive. Being imprinted off a 3D subject explains why it shows 3D properties when the 2D image is uploaded to 3D-rendering software.
The purpose of this posting is to home in on three of the key variables of the new model to see which of 3 options produce a superior or inferior result. They are: 1. use of cold v hot water dispersions of plain white flour as imprinting medium (cloudy suspension v semi-transparent paste); 2. pressing linen downwards against body part, or pressing body part downwards into linen; 3. using whole flour, with gluten protein, or using starch only, easily extracted from the same flour, free of gluten protein(previous findings with extracted gluten suggesting that it, and it alone was responsible for most of the colour development that is seen when nitric acid reacts with a white flour imprint).
Method: Flour or starch imprints on linen were first dried on a hot radiator, then transferred to a bath of conc. nitric acid solution (approx.70% w/v.) Development is rapid at this high concentration, probably a few minutes, but 30 mins was chosen as standard to ensure maximal colour development. The linens were then washed thoroughly. first in sodium bicarbonate solution to neutralize acid, then tap water, and finally dried over a radiator.
|Left: hot water flour paste v right cold water flour suspension as imprinting medium. with coated hand pressed down into linen. Developed with nitric acid.|
|Hand coated with near-transparent flour/hot water paste.|
|Hand coated with more visible flour/cold water dispersion.|
|Here's a comparison of the two imprinting modes - hand pressed down into linen (left) v linen pressed down onto hand (right) using cold water/flour in both cases.|
|As above, but comparing the fainter imprints from use of hot water pastes (hand down onto linen, left v linen down onto hand, right).|
The next step is to test the ability of the image to withstand various treatments (washing with detergent, boiling etc). However, that must wait a few days: iodine/potassium iodide solution has been ordered to check how much starch remains detectable after second stage development. It might be quite small, given that the rinsing procedures with bicarbonate and water are visibly removing a lot of starch granules (judging by cloudiness in the rinse solutions). Mercifully, the yellow/orange reaction products does not wash off (being insoluble in water - a characteristic of rubbery gluten in any case, even before modification with nitric acid).
Overall conclusion: the methodology is robust and versatile. If one wants a sharp, well delineated image, then use a dispersion of white flour in cold water (less flour/more water than used in this experiment). If one wants a fainter image, then use a hot water dispersion instead, one in which the starch granules are gelatinized (though it's the gluten storage protein that is the "active ingredient" where the second stage colour development with nitric acid is concerned). hat has been conclusively demonstrated here by showing that there is no image if one imprints with wheat starch, washed out of dough, free of the insoluble rubbery gluten protein.
|Dried sediment of wheat starch granules at base of container, washed out of dough by kneading under water (the gluten stays in palm as rubbery mass).|
Here by the way is a result from a previous posting, showing how extracted gluten gives a dark orange colour with nitric acid:
What's the final physical state of that nitrated wheat gluten, once unreacted starch granules have been washed out? Might it be a thin film of protein? Might that account for the superficiality of TS image? Might it account for Rogers' observation that the image layer was left behind in the adhesive coating of his Mylar sticky tape when individual fibres were pulled out using forceps?
Fluorescence of body image under uv (more correctly, absence thereof where the TS image is concerned)? Don't know. I do not own or have access to a uv lamp, and have no immediate plans to buy one, simply to do a one-off test. I'll happily post imprints of my hand to anyone with a uv lamp who wants to check them out. Hugh Farey?
Optimal geometry for imprinting? Press flour-coated body or body part into the linen OR drape the linen over the coated body or body part and press around the contours? Answer: in this experiment, either procedure gave a satisfactory result, with little to choose between the two. There are some other pros and cons to be considered, both theoretical and practical, but the details are probably best left to another day.
Postscript to the "blood too red" mantra
"Where's the photographic evidence?" is the question I posed in the posting preceding this one, and still no one's provided an answer. We've been told that Adler and Heller looked at stained linen fibres from the TS under the microscope, and judged them to be redder than expected. OK, but where's the photographic evidence? We've been told that folk who have seen the TS with their own eyes, maybe with the benefit of some natural light (with a uv component), maybe not, judge the bloodstains to be redder than expected. But where's the photographic evidence?
What is especially irksome to this one-time bilirubin specialist (University of Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School, 1970-72) is the way Adler and Heller's begging-the-question "trauma bilirubin" claim, or as I prefer to call it, fantasy, has become inseparable from the "blood too red" mantra. For a start, bilirubin is not red. It's orange. Ah, but bilirubin is also fluorescent, we're told. so that might explain the brightness of the bloodstains. In fact, bilirubin has scarcely any fluorescence at all under uv. The fact that there's enough to permit a clinical fluorescence assay is neither here nor there. The sensitivity of the eye to mixtures of colours, viewed in diffent kinds of light, natural and/or artificial, and the sensitivity of electronic instrumentation to specific filtered wavelengths in the visible and uv are two entirely different things.
What amazes me is the obsession with bilirubin, almost certainly a total irrelevance, given its instability to light and oxygen (it self-sensitizes its own destruction via a singlet oxygen mechanism), yet next to none of the textbook property of free porphyrins, stripped of iron and protein, such as might exists in ancient blood. Free porphyrins are noted for their bright pink or red fluorescence under uv light (which would include sunlight). The most likely explanation for TS blood appearing too red is that it is being viewed in light that has a uv component, probably daylight. Yet I don't recall ever having seen that alluded to anywhere in Adler's writings, despite him being a porphyrin specialist.
Here are a couple of pictures of porphyrin fluorescence culled from internet image files.
The one above is in a silica cuvette, showing typical porphyrin pink/red fluorescence.
The second (above) is from a skin carcinoma before (right) and after (left) treatment with an agent that stimulates porphyrin fluorescence under uv light.
Update: Thursday 28 May
Here's a diagram discovered on internet image files that shows, in highly schematic form, the relationship between starch granules and aggregates of seed storage protein ("gluten") in the endosperm of wheat grains.
|Protein aggregates are shown as purple zigzag lines.|
Wheat gluten (shown purple) is unique in its hydrophobicity ("water-repellent"), which explains its tendency to self-associate in a dough to make a highly elastic substance capable of trapping CO2 and air bubbles - crucial for breadmaking.
Looking at the diagram, here's a prediction that will be put to the test later today. It should be possible to imprint an image of my hand onto linen, and then, with or without drying, to steep the linen in plain water so as to selectively wash out the starch granules (as in dough-kneading under water that washed out starch to leave an extended gluten network on the linen). Then and only then, one could develop the image with nitric acid. It seems conceivable that the initial washing out of the starch prior to nitric acid treatment might allow the gluten to self-organize into a better 'film' on the surface of the linen, akin to the image-receptive silver bromide emulsions used in photography (except this one would be a chemographic 'emulsion'). The end-result might be superior.